Watterson and the New Year’s Eve blog post

The way I blog, I gather bits of news stories or other blog posts and write up an opinion on them for later blogging. Then when I feel like posting something, I go through the queue of things I’ve written and pick one out, or take several related stories and put them together. I used to use BBEdit for this. Then I started using NetNewsWire’s notepad. Lately I’ve been trying out VoodooPad. The interesting thing about this approach is that I end up writing about a lot of things that never get published. After a certain period of time they are no longer relevant or interesting.

For this last post of 2003, I went through the queue of a dozen or more recent things I could blog about. This thoughtful article about Calvin and Hobbes and creator Bill Watterson stood out:

“The pressure on Watterson must have been enormous, but he steadfastly refused to sell out, even a little bit. ‘I look at cartoons as an art, as a form of personal expression. That’s why I don’t hire assistants . . . and why I refuse to dilute or corrupt the strip’s message with merchandising,’ he said in his Festival of Cartoon Art speech. ‘Characters lose their believability as they start endorsing major companies and lend their faces to bedsheets and boxer shorts.'”

So I guess maybe the advice for the new year is to stay true to what you are doing. Focus on the real problem and don’t compromise your vision for the wrong reasons.

Happy new year.